Oiselle, based in Seattle, made its first tops with a
waffle iron sewing machine in 2007. It's since nosed its way into national running consciousness with an infectious grrl power ethos, attracting high profile runners Lauren Fleshman and Kara Goucher into its fold and away from Nike. This is its first baseball team.
The company didn't just pick the Bend Elks at random; Project Little Wing, Oiselle's post-collegiate training group, was formed in Bend, Or., in 2013 so that good runners wouldn't starve. Helping runners not starve and also becoming an Elks sponsor is Picky Bars, an "athletically balance" energy bar company co-founded by Fleshman and also based in Bend.
The Elks themselves are not the worst; Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury played for the team in 2002, and actor Kurt Russell played on the field for three years of pro ball in 1971 as a member of the ill-fated Bend Rainbows.
Opening day is June 6 when the Elks take on the Corvallis Knights amid the fluttering cheers of athletes who are not exactly sure of the rules but are in for an underwhelming surprise.